The summer is over and a new term has started, yip the kids are back to school! Pop the champagne!
7 weeks of summer holidays seem to bring so much anxiety with lack of childcare, endless activities and time to fill to keep the children from killing each other. I was one of these parents but we were blessed with a beautiful summer and were lucky to spent most of it outside, it was a dream and made the time so much more enjoyable.
With children going back to school or indeed maybe even starting school for the first time can cause lots of anxieties for the children but what about us parents? We are anxious messes by the start of the new term.
As parents we often get caught up in our children’s life’s and in turn forget about looking after ourselves or address the worries we have inside.
Back to school anxiety is a real problem most parents face when there little cherubs head out into the big bad world, away from mamas forever watching eyes.
“Are they eating their lunch?” “Do they have friends to play with?” “Are they happy?”
Adding in the shopping and the financial side of returning to school, it’s a lot for us the handle on top of an already hectic and busy life.
Early morning, grumpy children and adjusting back to a strict schedule can cause parent to feel deflated, emotional and ready for bed before 9am in the morning. It’s no wonder we need caffeine to function! 3 cups of coffee before work anyone?
Last year, Cora started Nursery full time. Until that point I was lucky enough to be at home with her, I spent every waking minute (and most sleeping hours) with her right by my side. She was my wee pal and I was hers.
Cora’s nursery was chosen to host the pilot scheme for the 30 free hours of child care that will be available to all children in Scotland by 2020 (Yas for Scotland) so she was in nursery 5 days a week, 9-3.30 mon to thurs and a half day on a Friday (this is an Edinburgh thing). My little darling was going to be spending the whole day under someone else’s care.
This was a new experience for both of us and I can tell you, she handled it a lot better than I did.
Even though I knew my girl was a little social butterfly and would make friends no problems, I worried I wouldn’t be there to kiss her knee when she fell, or help her with her lunch and if she just needed a cuddle from mummy, I wasn’t there. Proper mummy guilt!!!
I found myself calling the nursery daily to talk to her key worker to see how she was, she was fine of course but it didn’t help ease the anxiety I had. I hadn’t realised that having my daughter with me at all times had been my way of controlling something and the lack of control over my daughter’s life was causing me all kinds of feelings I hadn’t felt in a long time! I felt useless.
When she started to catch any cold, cough and sickness bug going it started to send me over the edge. This was all new to me and I was losing it, I was not keeping my little angel “safe” so OCD crept back in as a way of gaining control again. I even thought about taking her out of nursery to help ease my anxiety but that would have been so selfish of me as she just adored it. I was talking to her teachers daily and I think they could tell by now that I was the annoying, over worried parent. As an ex nursery nurse I had seen my fair share of these kinds of parents and I never thought I would be one of them.
But with everything, with time the feeling passed and I became more relaxed with the idea of her being there all day and I could see the joy, progress she was making as well as the bonds of friendships she had. It was a bitter pill to shallow; my little girl was growing up and didn’t need me as much, sob!
I never thought I would be getting empty nest feelings as soon as I did and don’t even get me started on her starting school next year. The thought makes my blood run cold! How do I have a child old enough to go to school!
Anyway thats a year away and I will properly go through the whole thing again then... and then again when she leave for uni. (Nope, not happening she will be sleeping beside me forever right?)